If Darwin was a pastry chef, what would he make?


i-908ed4be7cff3917a1ca068f124f8328-baking.png


Science Scout twitter feed

Yesterday at the SCQ, a short paper was published describing a "Kingdom Cake," whereby the various layers represented the different kingdom designations. The cake itself was pretty cool, but made all the more impressive by its competition at a full on bake off for Darwin's birthday back on February 12th.

The range was marvelous, and as I sampled them, I kept wondering what type of baking would Darwin himself have preferred, or even prepared himself. In any event, here are a couple of highlights.

Firstly, the aforementioned "Kingdom Cake"


i-6fc2bbc6b76bb2decdf20f9b3d5fce86-cake7537.jpg

Accompanying this cake came was a paper entitled "On Evolution, Kingdoms, and the Galapagos Islands: a Treatise on Darwin's Contributions to Modern Ecology and Evolution in Cake Form". The layers were made from the following:

Monera - probiotic yogurt cake
Protista - green kelp diatom cake
Fungi - polish yeast cake
Plantae - zucchini cake
Animalia - honey cake
Genetically modified icing, coconut finch nest, Japanese white chocolate almond ptarmigan egg and spinach seaweed

And here is the scientific schematic of the finished creation:


i-e21c74d2a7256c24dd17abb89d2ae45e-cake.jpg

Next up, we have this pair of snake-like creations:


i-ac28d932bfc04f6a6fdda28ca00bb0e8-cake7480.png

Illustrating the evolution of mimicry, one of these snakes is a venomous coral snake, the other one is a copycat. Further inspection revealed coral snakes can be identified by the presence of red velvet cake on the inside. Entry by the Riesberg Lab.

Then we have this very odd looking cake:


i-d6dd4cac10f84d10ad35d20282f18520-cake7484.png

Titled the "Host Dependant Replicate", this cake featured chocolate eggs containing instructions for producing the next generation of cakes, with both variability and heritability on which for Natural Selection to act. Cake by David Nogas.

I thought this next one was pretty clever:


i-102ff7650bd035c19199299614eb4ed5-cake7505.png

This cake from the Myers Lab shows the story of the Evolution of the Peppered Moth. Observational data suggests light and dark cookie moths are eaten at equal frequencies by human predators, independent of the lightness of the tree on which they are resting.

But at the end of it all, I think my personal favourite was this one:


i-1c0d2ff275b51cf8d9633a580e1cca7a-cake7530.png

Anyway, lots more to see at the Vancouver Evolution site.

More like this

Stop what you're doing. You HAVE to read this. Your life will be changed forever. You can cook a cake in a microwave. In 5 minutes. Seriously. Barry stumbled across this recipe for how to make a cake in a mug. In a MUG. How did I not learn of this during all those years as an undergrad?! I…
Old time vinegar pie It's Pi day or Pi(e) day...either way you look at it today is 3/14 so a good excuse to eat some pie and Scienceblogs and Serious Eats have teamed up to hold a pi(e) contest. Upon discovering this contest I enthusiastically embarked upon dreaming up something fitting for the…
For the last month, I have been a visiting researcher in the conservation science unit at Cambridge University, which turns 800 (!) this year. Another impressive birthday is today: Charles Darwin's bicentennial--a grand event here in England, although they do admire Darwin daily (note the 10 pound…
Yes, I cook. Yes, I use recipe blogs. Yes, I might alter the recipes I see based on what I have on hand or what various personal and familial preferences come into play. In fact, I love recipe blogs, I really really do. Simply Recipes is probably my favourite. The reality, of course, is that a lot…

I may be a bit biased, but I think Darwin was a conniseur of experiences, and for that reason he would have liked some fresh-baked, still crispy worm cookies made with real worms, a favorite study subject of our friend Chuck.

Dom